Bucs Loss Is Lions Gain

Bucs lose assistant head coach Rod Marinelli to Detroit

By Jeff Berlinicke

You win some, you lose some. Only a few days after the Bucs found out that Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin wouldn't be interviewing for the open St. Louis Rams head coaching position, the Bucs lost Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Line coach Rod Marinelli to the Detroit Lions.

Marinelli, who has been with the Bucs since 1995, was given the added title of Assistant Head Coach in 2002 when Jon Gruden joined the Bucs.

Marinelli led a defensive line that was consistently among the best in the NFL. The six highest sack totals in team history came under Marinelli's charge and their 303.5 sacks since 1996 are most in the NFL.

Tampa Bay was Marinelli's first stop in the NFL. Prior to coming to Tampa, he was defensive line coach at Southern California. He was hired under former Bucs coach Tony Dungy in 1996, and the Bucs made the playoffs the following season.

Warren Sapp was the first of several Pro Bowl defensive linemen to flourish under Marinelli, followed by Simeon Rice. Current Bucs who have thrived under Marinelli's teachings are Greg Spires, Dewayne White, and Anthony McFarland.

Detroit will be Marinelli's first head coaching job at any level. He'll take over a team that has consistently underachieved despite a solid core of veteran players. To replace Marinelli as Assistant Head Coach, Kiffin would be the obvious candidate, but no word as of yet.

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